There are many bullies out there. But did you know that bullying also occurs on Facebook? I bet that the only bully you’re familiar with is the bully who pushes kids around in school, the bully who is plain mean and rude. How many times have you heard of the bully who doesn’t know he’s actually a bully? If you haven’t, then read on – because YOU might actually be a bully and you don’t know it yet.
A bully shows aggressiveness via force or undue pressure to have a certain effect on someone else. A more obvious example of bullying is being physically abusive, such as pushing someone whom you know is smaller or weaker than you. But there are more discrete, unnoticeable ways that bullies assert their power.
For instance, Facebook and other social media have been the platform of many bullies, especially those who feel they’re not bullying (when, in fact, they are). Below are more concrete examples of “discrete” or “non-obvious” bullying:
- When your friend leaves a rude comment on your Facebook status, he might actually be bullying you. As you might already know, there are “friends” and there are “frenemies”. Frenemies, especially those who envy or hate you, can’t just curse you directly. Instead, they can leave disparaging remarks on your Facebook wall, then tone it down by following up with a “hahaha”. Think hard: has this happened to you? How many times have your so-called friends left insulting comments on your Facebook wall that really bothered you? If their remarks make you ask yourself if they’re truly your friends, then your “friends” might be bullies without you even noticing it.
- Being passive-aggressive on Facebook or Twitter and other social media is another way to bully someone. Being passive-aggressive means not doing what’s expected of you in terms of societal norms. For instance, if you leave a “Happy Birthday” comment on your friend’s wall, you kind of expect him to leave a response or like your comment. It’s okay if he doesn’t, but if he responds to everyone else’s greeting BUT skips yours, then he might just be bullying you. Of course, this should be taken with a grain of salt: maybe you were the one who bullied him and he simply wants to avoid you.
- Trolls are actually internet bullies. Are you familiar with trolls? They post comments in forums, Facebook groups, or other online social platforms that provoke other people. They also post unrelated comments. For instance, if a thread is dedicated to a specific topic then one person keeps posting unrelated jokes and songs, then he’s acting like a troll – and yes, he’s an online bully.
- Lewd remarks and inappropriate sexual innuendos are part of bullying. This is more commonly done by males as women are easier targets in terms of sexual bullying. For instance, a person who says, “You’re so yummy, I wonder how you taste in person!” after you post a picture on Facebook is in no way trying to ask you out on a date; he’s just being a bully.
I don’t like online bullies; they hide behind their computers and act all bold and try to push your buttons. But my cat, despite using my cellphone for Facebook, is immune to online bullying. I mean, look at him!
There are many other ways that people bully others, especially on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. If you know of any specific examples, leave a comment and I can update this post to add your example. Now, I want you to ask yourself, have you been a Facebook bully at one point and you didn’t even realize it? Well, at least now you know. Up next: how to deal with bullies on Facebook!